US suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong over national security law

United States has ended the extradition treaty with Hong Kong in bid to build pressure on Beijing after it imposed a controversial national security law on the former British territory.

It is one of three bilateral treaties suspended on Wednesday.

Other nations, such as the UK, Germany and Australia have also suspended extradition treaties in recent weeks.

The US State Department said the security law had “crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong”.

Last month President Donald Trump also ended Hong Kong’s preferential trade and diplomatic status with the US.

“The Chinese Communist Party chose to crush the freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted.

The move was expected as the US imposed a raft of punitive measures in the wake of the new law.

The Hong Kong government later responded saying it “strongly objects to and deplores” the action by the US “which is widely seen as a move to create troubles in China-US relationship, using Hong Kong as a pawn”.

Earlier this month, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and 10 other top officials from Hong Kong and mainland China.

National Security Law:

The law came into force on 30th June, night 11pm with four categories of offences – secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.

The punishment varies between a life to a three year imprisonment.

‘Anti-nationals’ can be extradited to mainland China from Hong Kong. The law also subverts the Hong Kong judiciary as only Beijing appointed judges can hear such matters.

The law is applicable to entire China including Hong Kong. Even foreign nationals could face action under this law if they are found to be anti-Beijing.